Sixth Conference – 1952, Canada

This conference was convened at Ottawa on 11th August, 1952, under the presidency of the Honourable Robert H.  Winters, the Dominion Minister in charge of forest affairs, and the chairmanship of Mr. D.  A.  Macdonald, the head of the Dominion Forest Service. It met later at Quebec, the Petawawa Forest Research Station in Ontario, and Dorset, and ended on 13th September. There was a full representation from all the larger Commonwealth countries and organisations, and guests attended from both the United Nations (F.A.O.) and the United States of America. Seventy-eight authors presented a total of eighty technical papers.

The resolutions laid particular stress on the need to make and maintain reliable inventories of each country’s forest resources and potential output of timber. The need to expand forest products research was stressed, and the Dominion Government offered the widest possible help through the interchange of information, from its own large and magnificently equipped laboratory at Ottawa. Visits were paid to modern  sawmill and  paper  mills,  and  the  delegates  from other lands were greatly impressed by the scale and scope of timber and pulpwood utilisation in this, the Commonwealth country with the  largest  extent of softwood forests. The tours, which were mainly in the eastern and central provinces, drew attention to the many problems racing Canadian foresters. Though areas are vast, the terrain is difficult, with countless swamps, lakes and stretches of barren rock, which taken together reduce the overall output, and make transport costly. Fire risks are high, and the use of aircraft for “fire spotting” and also for the conveyance of fire fighters, equipment and stores to remote blazes, was a feature new to many delegates. This is only possible because the lakes provide ready-made landing strips for aircraft equipped with floats in place of wheels.

A sad occurrence at this conference was the untimely death of Lord Robinson, who was its vice-president and the leader of the delegation from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  Robinson  had  been  the originator and  guiding  genius  of  the  whole  series  of  conferences,  and  indeed of the whole  concept  of  Commonwealth  forestry  cooperation.  He  had played a leading part in five successive meetings over thirty-two years, and had  laid lasting foundations for future developments.

Excerpt from:
Commonwealth Forestry Conferences: 1920 to 1962
H.L. Edlin
The Commonwealth Forestry Review
Vol 46, No 3 (129) (September, 1967), pp 192-200 (10 pages) Published by the Commonwealth Forestry Association